By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – The United States on Wednesday strongly criticized a vote by Bosnian Serb lawmakers to ask for an annulment of a 2004 report on the Srebrenica genocide which said Bosnian Serb forces killed thousands of Muslims in and around Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.
In a statement, the State Department said the rejection of the report is an attempt to "revise the facts of the past war, to deny history, and to politicize tragedy".
Lawmakers in Republika Srpska, Bosnia’s autonomous Serb-dominated region, asked the regional government to overturn the report.
The vote was initiated by Serb Republic nationalist President Milorad Dodik and was criticized by Bosniak lawmakers.
"It is in the interest of the citizens of Republika Srpska to reverse the trend of revering convicted war criminals as heroes and to ensure their crimes continue to be publicly rejected," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in the statement.
The U.S. noted that it will continue its efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and work to assist authorities in prosecuting the individuals responsible for the genocide.
Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces after they attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.
Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to capture territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats in an attempt to create their own state.
Hundreds of Bosnian families are still searching for missing loved ones, as a large number of victims were thrown into mass graves throughout the country during the Bosnian War, which spanned from 1992-1995.